After 18 years in office, Ashton mayor announces he’s not running again
Published at | Updated at
ASHTON — Selflessness and service are only two of the words some Ashton residents would use to describe Mayor Teddy Stronks’ time in office.
But in just a few months, he’ll be stepping down after 18 years as mayor and 12 years on the city council.
“I’m just going to really miss that Teddy is so calm and he’s so easy to talk to. When there’s something that’s happening, that’s stressful, he’s just always on an even keel and helps us to make it through,” City clerk and treasurer Cathy Stegelmeier says. “We’ll really miss Teddy.”
Stronks says he doesn’t intend to run for office at the end of his term this year. He’s been thinking about the decision for the last six months and says his family has been the main motivating factor in his decision to step down.
“My kids aren’t going to vote for me and my wife’s going to kill me if I (run), so I just better leave it at that,” Stronks says with a smile. “I just feel like I need to devote more time to my business with my boys and teach them the ropes so I can move on in life and someday retire. I’m sad. It’s not easy doing what I’m doing, but I think it will be a good change for everybody. You can only carry the ball so long– You’ve got to give it to somebody, so this is the time to do it.”
As mayor, Stronks has really tried to make everyone feel like they’re a part of the community.
“The whole community gets involved – not just certain people,” Stronks says referring to civic matters. “There’s a lot of good people here. A lot of volunteers that do a lot of things to help promote Ashton.”
Stronks is proud that he’s been able to cut costs for the city and accommodate growth for the town of 1,063. He says he’s done a lot to get a new water system in place and beautify city parks.
“I’m just hoping that the future mayor will just continue the progression and keep up with infrastructure. You need to support your employees. They’re a big key in any city government,” Stronks says. “There’s some things that I’m leaving unfinished. I’m just hoping they get accomplished after I leave.”
Councilman Tom Mattingly is the only person running for mayor and Stronks says he still plans on serving on some committees after he’s out of office.
“I’m not just going to lock the door and leave. I’ll still be involved,” Stronks says.